Associate Professor, Africana Studies

Faculty Scholar, Center for the Study of Diversity

University of Delaware
Newark, DE 19716


Yasser A. Payne is an associate professor in the Department of Africana Studies at the University of Delaware. His street ethnographic research program is centered on exploring notions of resiliency with the streets of Black America using an unconventional methodological framework entitled Participatory Action Research–the process of involving members of the population of interest on the actual research team.

His approach to diversity is centered on exploring or examining the variation of psychological identity as it relates to Black and Brown populations involved with the criminal justice system. In most instances, such populations are framed in a monolithic way and Dr. Payne through his research has found great emotional, psychological and developmental variation. Also, he aims to break down or through stereotypical barriers and images of Black and Brown people in the criminal justice system, so that transition back in the community and opportunities for upward mobility are successful. Dr. Payne’s work is centered on humanizing those in the criminal justice system and getting undergraduate and graduate students as well as faculty and/or everday residents to work more closely with those in the criminal justice system.